If there is something our family loves it’s participating in alllll the family traditions, especially during the holiday season. This post will recap all of our pre-Christmas family fun in Dec 2021!
This year I took the big kids on their own little mommy-outing to the mall to get dinner and do some browsing/shopping.
The girls and I went first and had a fun time picking out our Christmas pjs for the year!
They are always SO FUN on “shopping” excursions. They don’t even need to buy anything – we just love looking together!
Kye and I also did a similar night out. We kicked things off with a visit to our local jeweler during their wishlist event and had dinner and did some browsing of the teenage boy variety…
Which meant me learning a WHOLE lot about video games and a must-stop at the Fun Factory for some gaming time too!
Zach and I always go away together around Christmas each year but this year decided to wait and go away in January instead. We’d planned to fly to Texas but ended up changing plans about that too when the time came. So over Christmas we just had a date night, also at the mall, to walk and shop and have just-us time together.
I found this book while browsing Belk. It’s called Colostrology and it was pretty dang dead-on for most of our crew!!!! (photo order: Zach, Britt, Me, Spear, Tess, Kye)
Every year we get out our Christmas decor the weekend before Thanksgiving. We did it a little earlier this year as I knew I REALLY was due to revamp allllll of our holiday decor stuff and purge old items that just aren’t “my jam.”
I was super mindful as we unpacked everything to think about if it all brought me JOY and added TO the holiday fun or if it was just junk taking up space. Of course every time I tried to get rid of something the kids protested and ended up keeping majority of it to decorate their rooms with.
I’m thankful we did the holiday decorating early too as it allowed me to have TIME to order/purchase new stuff as so many places sell out soooo early in the holiday season.
One thing is for sure – we all LOVE the holiday books and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon 🙂
Last year I absolutely LOVED our Santa photos at Icon Park but this year we had photos taken with the local Santa at our local mall. We wore Christmas pjs for the photos and Daddy even surprised us with a fun froyo outing after 🙂
The mall had a super cute interactive set up with lots of activities (which Tess was ALL ABOUT) and it was also so funny seeing Kye so embarrassed!
Here’s the professional downloaded images too!
Froyo in our pjs and Tess’s Christmas crafts 🙂
We always decorate our tree pretty early on so we can enjoy it as much as possible through Christmas. Our tradition is to get out ALL of the ornaments and lay them alllllll out on the coffee table so we can see them all and we rehash where we purchased them and talk about memories from those experiences (we always buy an ornament when on vacation!).
I’m NOT a fancy Christmas tree person and my kids decorate it however they want each year and it always turns out great. This year Spear was SO into it, especially when it came to getting to put the star on the top of the tree but it was also his first year truly participating in putting the ornaments on too.
All of the kids like hanging the ornaments up high because it means they get to use the stool 🙂
We also invested in two new trees for our dining room this year and decided to have them be our “Disney trees” so we organized all of our ornaments and put all the Disney themed ones in the dining room which worked perfectly since our Disney Village is in there too!
I love how everything came together and am SO much happier with our Christmas decor! I like every single item now and it’s simple and a bit basic but also very US!
Every year on the day we decorate the house and trees we also celebrate by watching a Christmas movie together and drinking hot chocolate. This year we also had breakfast for dinner as an additional treat! This year we watched the old school “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to officially get the holiday season rolling!
Now that Britt is 10 she also gets the privilege of drinking her hot chocolate in a glass rather than a sippy cup in the living room 🙂
This was the year of Tess being ALL ABOUT the holiday fun. She and Britt both wore festive holiday clothing literally every day in Dec. And Tess specifically asked if she and I could go on a date to purchase holiday related crafts.
We had a joint family party for Britt and Spear’s birthdays and Tess chose several fun crafts for the party guests (aka the cousins) to enjoy during the event. She was adorable taking her time to inspect every single option before making her decisions. Then the day of the event she got everything all set up and was just so cute about it!
She reminds me so much of Kye in so many ways. When he was younger he loved to tell me EVERY DETAIL of his day and Tess was the exact same way on our night together. It brought her such joy to be able to have my full attention to listen to all of those little moments in her day and I loved the chance to engage with her 🙂
This year the girls really wanted to help me wrap gifts so we started a new tradition of watching a Hallmark Christmas Movie together while wrapping some presents.
A few years ago Zach and I started a tradition with Kye where we wrap gifts and watch an older kid Christmas movie. We’ve watched Elf, Home Alone and this year we watched Home Alone 2. It’s a great way to keep the Christmas spirit alive with our older child.
I had a couple of friends get togethers which are always a blast! Kami hosted a favorite things party and I loved getting to spend time with fellow Christian ladies who I adore!
It’s so crazy because this get together marks the one year anniversary of when Summer invited us to visit her church. I met Summer in college at a different church that Zach and I had been visiting at the time and I knew back then that I liked her but we’ve never really had a chance to connect and this party resulted in us visiting her church which is now OUR church and our friendship has become something so special in my life. God was def saving our friendship for just the perfect moment 🙂
We also did a favorite things festive Book Club meet up at our house which was super fun, per usual.
Kye also got invited to his first holiday party at a friend’s house and had a great time hanging out and also had a gift exchange.
We were invited to have breakfast with Santa with several friends and it did not disappoint. I loved that each of our kids had friends to sit with and visit with which made the event extra fun!
Britt takes her Santa visits seriously and I love her holiday magic and I know no matter what that she will ALWAYS have that quality! Each of the kids told Santa their wishes for Christmas! We loved the time with friends and family and Baby Bryce was cracking us up as he was NOT into Santa so Santa had to sneak around the corner to get in the photo with him. Spear told Santa he wants a REAL excavator – good luck kid 🙂
Our neighborhood started an annual golf cart Christmas parade and Zach was pretty into it last year which made my heart so happy as he can sometimes be a bit of a grinch when it comes to holiday festivities. We participated again this year and again we all LOVED it! Riding around snuggled up and listening (and singing) Christmas songs is always fun with the fam!
Spear was especially so cute as he loved seeing all the lights and singing the songs.
We have another annual tradition of going to the dollar store and choosing stocking stuffers for each other to open on our Core Crew Christmas. We do it “secret Santa” style and it’s a really fun part of our family time together.
This was the first year that Spear truly participated in choosing gifts for everyone. Plus we couldn’t forget Lily! This is always a fun time as a fam and it’s also where we pass out some cash to random strangers as a way to spread the holiday cheer. It’s a great way to teach kids about the gift of giving to each other as well as to the community!
Afterward we went out to dinner (tried a new to us burger place) and then went to look at Christmas lights. We have a favorite house that does the whole themed lights and music thing that we watch for a bit and then we drive through a neighborhood that has massive cards in the yards.
I will miss the days of having a baby in my lap during our Christmas light exploring moments! We took turns reading the cards out loud and it basically turned into a competition to see who could read them aloud in the silliest voice.
Spear had a Christmas program at school and it was so cute watching him up on stage. When he first came out he had the most pitiful look on his sweet face because he hadn’t yet seen us in the audience. Zach moved seats super quickly so Spear could more easily spot him and check out that smile the second he laid eyes on his Daddy. And then when he finally made eye contact with his mama 🙂
Loved getting to see all of his Christmas crafts too during his little Christmas party!
Another annual tradition for our crew is to go shopping as a family to Target to choose gifts for each other. We found a pretty sweet spot with getting up earlier on a morning and going as close to opening of Target as possible. Gets us in and out way quicker!
The kids always buy a Christmas ornament for their bedroom trees each year and this year we slacked on getting them one so they finally got one while at our family shopping trip. It was a fun outing as Spear truly participated this year too!
This year for Mema’s Christmas we got together at her church (it’s also the church where majority of Zach’s fam attends and he and I attended before we got married). It allowed for more space for the large fam to celebrate together!
Of course the kids all sang Christmas carols which quickly turned into church songs too. They all loved being together and Jolee even had fun Christmas crafts! Mema got each of the great grandkids a gift and for the girls she did personalized necklaces and my girls both ADORE them and wear them daily!
It was nice getting together with Mema and seeing the joy that being together brought her!